What is MSI?
Magento will soon release the latest version 2.3 with MSI(Multi-Source Inventory) feature. MSI is about multi-source inventory management. MSI enables the sellers to reflect their multiple inventory sources of a product in Magento without using or integrating any additional extensions.
For each product, the sellers can list the multiple sources of the inventory in the Magento and let them track the stock conveniently.
Before MSI, the Magento was having a single warehouse system ie; catalog inventory. No matter how many sources of inventory the seller is having, the seller can reflect them as the single source. Suppose, for a product a seller is having 100 stock in warehouse 1 and 150 stock in warehouse 2. But in Magento, the seller will reflect the stock of that product 250. The seller can’t reflect the inventory as per each warehouse.
In catalog inventory, the sellers reflect the product inventory as a part of the single source that and sells products to multiple sales channels from that single source only.
Why is MSI important?
Catalog inventory management works perfectly fine if you are a single source seller. What if you are the multi-source seller and want to reflect the multi-source of your inventory or if planning to scale the sources or warehouses.
The sellers can’t define and manage the multiple sources of their inventory in Magento. Therefore, catalog inventory limits the multi-source sellers to define and track the inventory of each source separately.
But, MSI will enable the sellers to manage the multiple sources simultaneously and scales with expanding business needs and requirements.
In Magento, the multi-source sellers will list the multiple sources as per the requirement. The sources could be your warehouses, physical stores, storage centers etc. While configuring the sources for a product, the multi-source sellers define the source information and the inventory available.
Future Scope : The applications benefited with the MSI project will be –
A marketplace is a great concept which allows multiple sellers to list their products. But in the marketplace, when multiple sellers sell the same product it’s become highly difficult to manage the inventory of the same product by multiple sellers.
There are three sellers( S1, S2, and S3) selling one product(P1). Each seller is having separate sources for their product W1, W2 and W3 with different inventory say source W1 is having inventory 100, source W2 110 and source W3 200.
Now, using MSI in Magento, the inventory of these three sources will be managed and represented separately. This way it becomes convenient to manage the P1 inventory of each seller separately.
- Dropship/Multi-Source Sellers:
Due to the growing business, the sellers required to manage various inventory sources in multiple geographical locations. Also, it’s highly expensive and time-consuming task to deliver the goods from single warehouse system.
What if you as a seller supposed to fulfill the order for Pune but you have a single warehouse in Gujrat. Now image the cost and time you will require to invest. It’s quite high, isn’t it?
But managing all the inventory sources in the Magento was not possible before the MSI. So, to eliminate these problems and enable the smooth logistics, the MSI concept introduced where the multi-source sellers can manage their multi warehouse inventory conveniently.
Webkul Dropship module already offers MSI concept in the module so that sellers can add and manage their multiple warehouse inventory in Magento without any hassle.
- Point of Sale:
POS for online retailers has evolved significantly over the time and are more popular than ever. Because POS allows the retail store owners to sell online and in-store for a seamless selling experience.
MSI will let the sellers manage the separate inventory for their brick and mortar store and online store for their products in the Magento.
Webkul POS system already possesses the split inventory management functionality way before the MSI. The seller can split the product inventory between an online shop and POS outlet. Not only single POS outlet, Webkul POS System even supports multiple pos outlets with split inventory.
- Multi-Channel Selling:
The sellers want to expose their product range to a large buyer base. For this, they integrate their existing online store to some popular sales channels like Amazon, eBay, Etsy etc. But maintaining the separate sources for each channel is not available in the Magento. This won’t allow the seller to track the inventory for each channel separately.
For example, a seller is having multi-channel selling say Amazon with it’s Magento store. Currently, the sellers have single source inventory management for all the channels. But MSI enables the sellers to maintain the multi-source inventory for their sell channels separately.
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